Supporters of Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have welcomed as good news his meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. The meeting, which took place Monday in the Ghanaian capital, Accra reportedly focused on Zimbabwe’s post-election impasse between the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the ruling ZANU-PF party. Some political analysts say the meeting will put more international pressure on incumbent President Robert Mugabe to release the rest of the presidential vote results three weeks after the general election.
The MDC says it won the presidential election with over 50 percent of the votes. But the ruling party has dismissed the opposition’s claim, saying it is preparing for an election run-off. Sydney Masamvu is a Zimbabwean with the International Crisis Group in South Africa. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Pretoria the meeting between MDC leader Tsvangirai and the U.N. Secretary General is good news for the opposition.
“I think it’s a very important development, which actually helps to puts the post-election Zimbabwe crisis on the spot. It is actually important to note that the meeting between the UNSG and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai comes just a week after Tsvangirai met with the SADC (Southern African Development Community) leaders, which was historic in the sense that his African peers are actually beginning to see and acknowledge that Tsvangirai is part of the solution to the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis,” Masamvu pointed out.
He said the recently suspended partial recount of the votes is an attempt by the ruling party to rig the election and thwart the opposition’s victory.
“What is very clear and beyond doubt is that this recount is actually a process of manipulating and reversing the vote. We have the official results, which were announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, and what we are actually seeing any machination that I see after that is an attempt by ZANU-PF to reverse the electoral laws of not only the ZANU-PF, but also of President Mugabe who was defeated by Tsvangirai,” he said.
Masamvu said it was necessary for the international community to have one voice against what he called the oppression in Zimbabwe.
“So actually, the question is not what the fight that the opposition can fight or what it can do. The opposition is for African leaders, international institutions including the UN, including the African Union, and including SADC to put a line to say Mugabe is crossing the line… at this juncture we need a solution. We cannot allow a blatant rigging of the vote,” Masamvu noted.
He described as unfortunate Tsvangirai’s recent statement that he was willing to be part of an election run-off even when the rest of the results were yet to be released.
“I agree that the international opinion, regional opinion, and even Zimbabwe national opinion is jumping the gun in so far as talking of a run-off when we haven’t seen the actual results. I think the process in Zimbabwe should move in the required step as outlined in the constitution that what actually is demanded in Zimbabwe right now is actually to release the results of the presidential election… this is about nearly three weeks after the vote and actually this delay is causing tension within the country and between the political actors, and this is actually a breeding ground for a very violent conflict,” he said.